Music: Variations on a Brake Drum

On the stage were six nimble young men in dinner jackets, and strewed around them were more than a hundred percussion instruments—including a horse's jawbone, six water-buffalo bells, eight auto brake drums, a corrugated washboard and a set of bongo drums. When the conductor raised his baton, the young men moved on an assortment of weapons and started to flail away. The effect was like an explosion in a boiler factory. The occasion: an all-percussion concert at New York's Manhattan School of Music, under the direction of Veteran Percussionist Paul Price.

For the concert Conductor Price had lined up a sampling from...

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